Design principle 6:

Use immediate feedback: explain which answer is correct and why

Use the feedback option to explain answers. This will help people grasp and remember the material quickly. Focus on what people do have to remember, instead of on what is false. Check below to find out how it’s done!


As indicated for design principle 5, the brain stores information, even when the information is inaccurate. With that in mind, our advice was to incorporate the correct information into the answer option and to avoid yes/no questions. The concept of giving positive feedback follows on from this.

The drill editor offers a feedback option to give people feedback on their correct, or incorrect, answers. Use this feedback option as it is an indispensable part of assessment-based learning. It will help people progress and stimulate knowledge development. Always put the focus on the correct information. Explain why a certain answer is true, regardless of whether this was the answer the learner selected. Prevent unwanted learning effects by not going into incorrect information. It is better to keep confronting learners with what they should be remembering. Do not get bogged down in long sections of text, but keep the feedback brief and to the point. Take a look at the examples below…


In putting together feedback, focus on information that people have to retain, in other words, focus on the right information. The underlying science is that people remember feedback, even when it’s about incorrect information. When you provide feedback explaining why something is false, people will remember something they shouldn’t remember… creating an unwanted learning effect. Try to prevent this by giving feedback about why a different answer is correct. Also, take a look at the example below.


When feedback is shown immediately after the learner has answered a question, they will be more likely to retain the information. Why? Because the brain takes it as a kind of reward. Your brain doesn’t want to get things wrong, making it more important to store feedback, so that you will be able to produce the correct answer next time. Besides, information is easier to remember when it is truly understood. All in all, immediate positive feedback will make knowledge stick.


This example clearly indicates what should have been the right answer. A video has been added for clarification.

Of course, you can also give feedback with a correct answer. This is useful, for example, when people guess the answer correctly. The fact that they have a correct answer does not necessarily mean that they actually had the knowledge on hand. This way they still get an explanation.

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